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In & Out

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: In & Out

Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack
Director: Frank Oz
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: September 1997
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Tom Selleck, Debbie Reynolds, Matt Dillon, Bob Newhart

Review by Walter Frith
1 star out of 4

It's difficult to write a review of 'In and Out' without giving too much away. When I first heard about this film that bills itself as a comedy I was afraid that it might be offensive to members of the gay community. I don't know how some will react but as a straight person, I found it had many problems which I will describe later on. It's about a small town English teacher (Kevin Kline) whose former student goes on to win an Academy Award and during his acceptance speech thanks everyone who helped him make it possible and in his thanks he singles out Kline as his former teacher and declares at the end of his speech that Kline is gay. Needless to say this causes the usual uproar of intolerance within the community from the close minded while it shocks and surprises many others. Kline insists he is NOT gay but it's hard to convince everyone and his wedding is in three days!

Two of the best films I've seen in recent years dealing with homosexuality were 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' (1985) and 'Longtime Companion' (1990). What these films had in common is that they both took a forward look at their subject matter without making more about their themes than was necessary. They were extremely well acted (William Hurt won the Oscar for 'Kiss of the Spider Woman') and they were memorable. What 'In and Out' does is take this very sensitive subject matter and treats its second half by being flagrantly condescending.

To tell you anything more than that would spoil the film but its climax is disappointing and the entire film has frumpy humor to boot and doesn't quite know in many scenes when to make its point and leave. When the credits roll up the screen there are many unanswered questions and 'In and Out' is a true disappointment and believe me if you've laughed at the coming soon attraction of this film or the television commercial advertising it, then you've already seen most of the funny moments.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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